Vanishing Vultures

With their hunched posture and baldheads, vultures are associated with death. But they are the unsung cleanup crew in Africa. Without them, diseases would spread and the Maasai Mara Reserve would smell like a slaughterhouse. But in the last 30 years even African vulture species have declined by over 80%. Pastoralists angered by attacks on their cattle by lions lace the carcasses with poison. 60 % of vulture deaths have been due to poisoning. Follow a team trying to save them during the annual wildebeest migrations.

  • Noella Luka
    Director
  • Joan Kabugu
    Director
  • Noella Luka
    Creative Director
  • Mercy Adundo
    Creative Director
  • Mercy Njeri, Mercy Adundo and Noella Luka
    Writer
  • Mercy Adundo
    Producer
  • Maurice Oninago
    Cinematographer
  • Munir Virani
    Key Cast
  • Film Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 4, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    Kenya
  • Country of Filming:
    Kenya
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Ismaili. Kenya Arts Festival
    Nairobi
    Kenya
    March 18, 2018
    Best Film
  • Cine-Conference: "Endangered Species: Finding the right balance"
    Nairobi
    Kenya
    March 20, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Bird & Wildlife Photo Festival
    Nanyuki
    Kenya
    May 17, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Jubilee Arts International Arts Festival
    Lisbon
    Portugal
    July 6, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival
    Zanzibar
    Tanzania, United Republic of
    July 10, 2018
    Best TV Series Non Fiction
  • Vancouver International Bird Festival
    Vancouver
    Canada
    August 19, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Out of Africa International Film Festival
    Nairobi
    Kenya
    November 28, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Sustainable Blue Economy Conference
    Nairobi
    Kenya
    November 27, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Sanaa Mtaani Art and Film Festival
    Nairobi
    Kenya
    December 22, 2018
    Official Selection
Distributor Information
  • Giving Nature a Voice- NTV
    Country: Kenya
    Rights: Free TV
Director Biography - Noella Luka, Joan Kabugu

Noella Luka holds a BA in Mass Communication from Africa Nazarene University. Since 2013 she has been an independent documentary filmmaker directing and co-producing award-winning films on Climate Change, Conservation and the Environment and working professionally with clients. Her work has been screened in Africa, Europe and in August 2018 in North America. In 2016 she was a recipient of a scholarship from Wake Forest University M.F.A Documentary Film Program, in North Carolina. In 2017 she received a grant to film the decline of Vultures in Kenya. She has documentary film experience in both Kenya and the United States.

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Director Statement

Vanishing Vultures highlights the plight of special scavenger bird species on the verge of extinction.

Unappreciated looks, misunderstood and an undervalued ecosystem service. A single vultures lifetime worth is estimated at $ 11,000. We simply can't ignore their existence or lack thereof.